This post was originally published here (Management Tips – The NonProfit Times)
Ready, aim, fire! Trigger emails zero-in on potential donors on a platform that is close and personal. With 1 in 5 people checking their email before getting out of bed each morning, there is the potential for donors to be thinking about your cause before they even think about breakfast.
A prospective supporter providing an email address is the first step in the process of triggering personalized messaging through an automated process.
Trigger emails are capable of setting off a reaction by sending specific messages to prospects based on accrued information. This information can be anything, including birthdays, location, or past giving behavior.
Trigger emails were adopted by the nonprofit sector in response to success in the for-profit industry. Emails can be as simple as an acknowledgment of a recent donation or a sign-up. More customized messages are generally event-focused. By keeping individuals educated on what is going on in their community, there is a greater opportunity to solicit a gift just prior to an event or months later at a year-end appeal.
“I’m a big believer in that there are many roads to ‘yes,’” said Maureen McNally, director of digital fundraising for Special Olympics in Washington D.C. “As we try to diversity the ask, I do see trigger emails working more hand-in-hand in what we’re trying to do.”
Organizations can set up a wide variety of triggers ahead of time with messages potentially becoming more personalized as more information is accrued and populated. While organizations should not completely shift to digital outreach overnight, it is important to embrace the future growth of trigger emails and accruing data from donors and prospective donors.